1. Malawi Tiwonge

    Tiwonge used to wash my floors and clothes and sometimes water my garden before it disappeared into shriveled brownness. For these tasks I paid for her school fees so that she could attend secondary school. I like Tiwonge, she’s feisty and smart though sometimes careless and uncaring but she pulls it off with also being sort of sassy. Her sassiness makes her carelessness seem purposeful as if she does it perhaps to back up being sassy or maybe to protect herself. Either way Tiwonge and I got...

  2. Malawi kawaza

    Outside my door a collection of children harshly rap at a mango tree with a long pole. The tree whackers have to shield their heads as they go in to retrieve the green rounds out of the dust. I love how things so gently collide around my house. Mango trees to me are exotic, a tree that grows far away from New England apple trees that don’t take up near the amount of sky and air space that the wide mango limbs do. But to see the exotic I have to duck my head, peeking under my laundry which is ...

  3. Ghana Baby Doll

    Women in Ghana carry their babies on their back. My favorite little girl, Yaa, would carry around her "baby"- a stalk of sugar cane- on her back as lovingly as any American child would carry a toy baby doll.

  4. Fiji A Hike, 2

    My parents, after coming out of our hike into the woods.

  5. Fiji A Hike

    My parents came to visit me during my second year of service, in December 2009.  Two of the young men from a neighboring village led us on a hike to a waterfall.  It was an adventure for my parents (and me!) and we all felt successful and tired after finishing the hike.  But the water was cold, the sun felt great (my parents live in Wisconsin), and it made for a fun afternoon.  They got to see some of the challenges of my integration through this hike, which was physically demanding, and enco...

  6. Fiji My two families

    My father huffed and puffed, my mother “ooh”ed and “ahh”ed, keeping her scrapes and scratches to herself.  We filed in line, one village boy leading my father, my mother, me, followed by a second village boy as our guide.  We traipsed through the rainforest on a barely worn and overgrown trail.  We were bound for a hidden waterfall. I was fortunate to have my parents visit me in Fiji.  I was fortunate to have them visit me when I studied abroad in Rome.  That was my father’s first trip out o...

  7. The Gambia Roots Tour

    Some friends and I went to the Roots Tour.  There, they did cultural displays for the tourists.  These Fulla boys had just been circumcised, and were dressed up in their post circumcision outfits.

  8. The Gambia My Alarm Clock

    These three vultures would land on my roof every morning.  The sound of the claws on my corrugate roof (think fingernails on chalkboard) would wake me up every day.  I named them Lamin, Malamin and Mohanadou.

  9. Fiji Cuvu Day

    At the annual village fundraiser, one of the family groups gathers in the center of the village green to sing a song as three children stand by and watch, all dressed in the brightly colored bula fabric often worn in Fiji.

  10. Fiji Reef Survey

    Some of the local villagers giving an underwater thumbs-up while doing a bit of field practice during a workshop on reef surveys where they've been learning how to conduct transect lines to assess the health of nearby coral reefs.

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.